In an interview with XXL Magazine, rapper Kendrick Lamar spoke highly of President Obama – someone he personally knows and considers a friend.
“I think the world, not just hip-hop owes him,” Lamar told XXL. “We all have to give him his credit due for even allowing us into this building. We would probably never get inside that house again. Think about it like that. Rick Ross, Cole, Nicki Minaj, he really went for us to come experience it. This is something out grandparents always wanted to see, never thought in a million years, but [we can] pass it down to our generation to say, ‘Alright, I’m in here and I’m finna use my power to let y’all see how this thing works and I’mma drop some knowledge on y’all that a man can’t drop on everybody else ‘cause y’all have the most influence.”
Lamar in this instance is referring to Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative which brought the rappers mentioned and others to the White House to discuss criminal justice reform. Lamar and Obama have met on multiple occasions, though, as Lamar has performed at events for the president multiple times.
Lamar also talked about how he thinks of the president as a friend. “You look at him as such a high figure in the world, but for him to embrace you and have a connection with you further than just being the President and make you feel like an actual friend,” Lamar remembered. “That’s probably the best moment and one of his best characteristics. I meet a lot of people in high places and sometimes they get so detached from the world and from the people, they don’t even know how to interact with you. Basically watching him interact with my mother, my little niece, myself as a human, I think that’s the greatest thing.”
Read the full interview on XXL.